You, my dear reader, might have already realised that I have been travelling quite much around Lapland.
There has anyway been a spot where I have never stayed, just visited quickly in some of my roadtrips. That spot is one of the most southern fjells in Lapland, Ylläs. Funny how long I’ve been avoiding Ylläs. It is anyway the biggest ski resort in Finland, also very famous otherwise. Somehow I have been thinking of it as an integral part of Lapland major amusement center. I mean Levi ski resort, which is complete no-no for me. If you build an Alp style city in the middle of Lapland and pack it full with people who just wants to have parties (Which they could have in Helsinki) you can be sure I try to avoid it.
Well, Ylläs and Levi are close to each others geographically but they are far away mentally.
I must say that Ylläs surprised me very positively. From the photographers point of view it is constructed well. No noice caused by cottage villages, not too city type center. Everything is build inside the forests so you can hardly see all those hundreds of cottages around the fjell. Beatiful arctic “mountain” (I would still like to call it as fjell) which sticks up from the arctic ground high above the horizon. Just like it should be. You can easily access great spots around the main summit, because there are totally seven summits in the area. There you can shoot the beauty of the fjell, and also lot more.
What impresses me a lot is that Ylläs takes also Northern Light spotters and night photographers in account. They turn of the street lights every evening 10 o’clock PM, between November 23th and mid February. Ofcourse I suffered a bit when I visited there AFTER mid February, now there was lights on also in the Ylläs Scenery Road which is very good spot to see the views…and photograph!. The road is constructed mostly to the west face of the fjell, so sunsets are amazing there… You can see also far away to west because there are no other high summits in that side of Ylläs.
Anyway, the Scenery Road light art is actually quite nice. They are not too “tourist crap”, I mean cheap and ugly, but they are designed and build to bring some Lapland exotics to foreign tourists. For Finns…well…We like the silence and darkness! 😀
So, Ylläs is respecting the Lapland nature as well as the big ski resort can. It still feels like a small village but it is also a huge winter sport center. Some of the best backcountry/freeride skiers in Finland spend time here, beause you can access great spots easily. Close but still in the middle of the wilderness. Check for example Antte Lauhamaa home page. There you can find also some great photos, taken mostly by Sony Global Imaging Ambassador Jaakko Posti.
What else there is at Ylläs? Alot. Fatbiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding…and bear meat pizzas! Yep. Also capercaillie is available if you want to taste how the taiga tastes. So, all the Lapland activies plus some extras. like Lainio Snow Village. There is another gallery for that, by the way…
Lot to do, lot to see, and from photogrphers point of view 4/5 point spot. The best thing in Ylläs is…Well, check my images below!